Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d wake up one day to find myself living with three rambunctious dogs.
Life with three young dogs — the oldest turned two in May — reminds me of those never-a-dull-moment days of young family, when my husband and I were raising four children. But instead of eight legs, it’s twelve; and instead of being thirty-something, my husband and I are teetering close to the golden years of senior discounts.
To their credit, the dogs do their part to keep us active and healthy. Three times a day they remind us it’s time to eat — Cosmo especially likes her grub. Then they remind us to relax and pet our pets, to relieve the stress lint picked up from everyday life. Max especially lines up for rubs. And finally the dogs remind us when its time to exercise, to venture outdoors for a walk around our Mesta Park neighborhood. Maddie especially likes her dubs. So thanks to our doggie trinity, we live a balanced life of grub, rubs and dubs.
Dub is our family shorthand for the letter “W”, which stands for the word ‘walk.’ It was once secret code known only to the human half of the family. But being the smart dogs poodles are, Maddie and Max have learned that Dub means walk. And whenever the “DUB” alarm is heard, all canine heaven breaks open: Maddie begins her dizzy circus pirouettes, Max starts lumbering through the house like a wild beast unleashed and Cosmo goes zoom, zoom, zoom as she effortlessly threads poodle and human legs like Sonic the hedgehog on a video game obstacle course. Our version of the Wild West Show leaves us in the middle of doggie mayhem, with leashes in hands and canines circling us like wild Indians.
Members of our doggie trinity each know their role. Maddie is our holy mother — holy in the sense of being set apart from the pack. Maddie rules her canine kingdom from her throne that once upon a time, was my husband’s favorite recliner. Max is Maddie’s adopted son, the lover of all guests.
Max stands ready to offer his poodle love — even if Max has to put his paws on your chest or shoulder to do it. But if guests are shy about receiving french kisses, they should keep their mouths shut. Cosmo’s mission in life is to make holes. When she’s not charming the socks off of our guests, she’s chewing a hole in a sock. Or digging a hole in the garden. Or chewing a hole in my back door frame. Or gnawing a hole in my stairwell post. Cosmo our holy terror, is the cannine child I don’t dare take my eyes off for a minute.
A good friend recently reminded me that dog spells god backwards. And I’m beginning to think this sharing of three letters is no mere coincidence. Because I know unconditional love when my dogs soft wet eyes meet mine; and this reminds me that God beholds me with soft eyes too, and that I should regard myself a whole lot more tenderly — especially during all those times that I’m being well…..so human.
So I wonder: Is it possible that we who live on this side of eternity come closest to experiencing the love of heaven when keeping company with a dog? As I ponder life with our doggie trinity — that Mother, Son and Holy Terror — I’m thinking yes.